Archive: SPCR's Test / Sound Lab: A Short Tour

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Close up of the equipment needed to measure fans and record their noise: A Taylor Hohendahl Engineering (THE) KP- 6M Reference Microphone is in a suspension shock mount on a boom mic stand. It is a wonderfully sensitive and linear transducer, a generous donation to the SPCR cause by Taylor Johnson (as he is known); much thanks to Mr. Johnson! On the tall stool is a Nexus 120mm fan and a handheld digital display anemometer (to measure airflow) on soft foam pad atop wooden stool. On the lower stool are a B&K 2203 SLM (capable of reading below 10 dBA) with 1603 filter accessory attached and an ordinary digital multimeter. Not shown here are the power supply and voltage control devices to power the fan.

Audio recording system: Modified Shuttle Zen PC running a P4-2.53 and suspended Samsung 40G 2.5" notebook hard drive, with single channel M-Audio Tampa mic preamp and M-Audio Firewire 410 external digital sound interface feeding the signal from the microphone.

Mic Preamp & Sound Interface: The top item is a M-Audio FireWire 410, a FireWire-compatible audio/MIDI interface with 4-in/10-out configuration complete with preamps. However, for best results, I use the M-Audio Tampa professional microphone/instrument preamp which has lower noise and higher performance than the preamp built into the FireWire 410. The Tampa integrates a 96-kHz / 24-bit A/D converter, which means the signal remains in digital format from the Tampa onward. Both instruments were purchased directly from M-Audio.

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